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When thoughts become obsessions

January 01, 2006

How many germs are on that doorknob? What if the house burns down? A person with obsessive-compulsive disorder thinks about these things all the time.

We all have disturbing thoughts, but most of us quickly dismiss them or keep them in perspective. We use the restaurant restroom, wash our hands, and go back to enjoy dinner. We turn off the stove or space heater before leaving the house and then focus on our driving — not on the danger of a fire at home.

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